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- Go to article: The International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology and the Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology
- Go to article: The Relationship Between Social and Emotional Integration and Reading Ability in Students With and Without Special Educational Needs in Inclusive Classes
The Relationship Between Social and Emotional Integration and Reading Ability in Students With and Without Special Educational Needs in Inclusive Classes
This longitudinal study focuses on the development of reading abilities and its relationship with social and emotional integration in students with and without special educational needs (SEN). The first measurements (Time 1 [T1]) took place at the end of 5th grade; the second series (Time 2 [T2]) were 1 year later. Participants were 18 students with SEN, 18 students without SEN matched on intelligence with the SEN group, and 18 students without SEN with average IQs, all from integration classes in regular secondary education in Austria. The students with SEN consistently showed the lowest reading abilities in reading fluency of words and nonwords, sentence comprehension, and text comprehension, followed by the low-IQ students. The average-IQ students always showed the highest reading abilities. Students with SEN reported being less socially integrated than low-IQ students without SEN. Average-IQ students show the highest social integration. However, students with SEN showed a similar level of emotional integration as their peers. Regression analyses showed, as expected, that T1 measures of reading fluency of words and nonwords as well as sentence comprehension and text comprehension all predicted T2 measures of these variables. Intelligence was an additional predictor for word reading fluency in the average-IQ group only. Social and emotional integration appeared to be additional predictors for text comprehension at T2 for students with SEN but not for the other groups. The results of this study suggest that students will learn better when they feel socially and emotionally integrated.
- Go to article: Contributions From International Conferences of the International Association for Cognitive Education and Psychology
- Go to article: Some Issues in Assessment and Intervention in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
A metacognitive teaching approach was implemented in a special education class with five children, aged 12 to 13 years. One day per week, the regular school activities were enriched with a metacognitive intervention with curriculum-unrelated tasks during the morning hours and curriculum-related tasks during the afternoon. The children first worked in dyads, after which the tasks were discussed in the whole class. The discussions served indirectly to teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies and to develop metacognitive awareness in an indirect manner. In the afternoon, the learned strategies were applied to the curriculum related task to foster transfer. In addition, a strategy of the day was defined in the final discussion of both types of exercises, and children were encouraged to use these on other school days. The application of the strategies and the children’s metacognitive knowledge were evaluated through self-report questionnaires (both general and task specific), observation of their behavior and verbalizations, and their performance in the various tasks. Children progressed in cognitive and metacognitive strategy use in both types of tasks as well as in their overall performance on the tasks, but their evaluations in the general metacognitive questionnaire decreased. The latter was interpreted as a metacognitive adjustment in the children, who, after repeated reflection on their behavior in different types of tasks, were better able to evaluate their cognitive and metacognitive behavior.
- Go to article: Assessing Special Educational Needs in Austria: Description of Labeling Practices and Their Evolution From 1996 to 2013
Assessing Special Educational Needs in Austria: Description of Labeling Practices and Their Evolution From 1996 to 2013
Even if the label special educational needs (SEN) is similarly used in various countries for indicating students with disabilities, the practices and diagnostic criteria leading to this label vary widely. This study aims to clarify the diagnostic process in Austria that leads to labeling. A sample of 169 special needs teachers who regularly write SEN reports participated in the online survey. The survey questions were based on those of a study by Ansperger (1998), who questioned special education teachers writing such reports in 1995–1996. Results show that, although more and more standardized instruments are used, still quite several unstandardized assessments are reported. Little time is available for the assessments, and only few reports include information on future pedagogical/educational intervention. It is concluded that in inclusive education, assessment should be more oriented toward educational intervention to address the diversity in learning needs among students than at diagnosing disabilities.
- Go to article: Performance of Adolescents with Moderate Mental Retardation on a Working Memory Task and Analysis of their Response Patterns
Performance of Adolescents with Moderate Mental Retardation on a Working Memory Task and Analysis of their Response Patterns
A Rasch-scaled working memory task was used to estimate the working memory capacity of adolescents with moderate mental retardation. The working memory task was calibrated using a sample of 412 children from regular mainstream classes and special education classes in primary school. The main issue of this paper concerns the usefulness of the constructed scale for children with moderate mental retardation. The Item Response model used is the Verhelst and Glas generalized Rasch-model (see e.g., Verhelst & Glas, 1995), a strong measurement model with attractive properties, such as measurement on a true interval scale on which both items and persons can be represented and the estimation of personal capacities independent of the items actually used. Because the model can be tested and the response patterns of individual persons can be analyzed, inferences can be made about the usefulness of the model for persons with moderate mental retardation. When the estimated capacity of a person is not in line with the responses given to individual items, this implies that the measure is not reliable for this person. When such a situation arises for many persons with mental retardation, this indicates that the present model is not applicable to this population; however, when the capacity estimates of persons with moderate mental retardation are reliable, this implies that working memory capacity is measured on the same dimension. In this study, the performance of adolescents with mental retardation was generally comparable to those of six- to seven-year-old normally developing children, but never surpassed complexity level 4. Their response patterns also conformed to the model. We concluded that working memory was measured on qualitatively the same dimension in both groups.
This article is, first of all, a synthesis of the various views on cognitive education (CE) as presented by the guest authors of this issue, and it is also a critical discussion of the field. We discuss how Sternberg’s initial 5 questions were addressed by the authors, and we place these within the larger framework of the scientific literature on CE, metacognition, and dynamic assessment (DA). We try to unveil the strong and weak points of the various approaches, and we discuss some perspectives for the future.